Harlan Daily Enterprise
Harlan County clinched a share of the 52nd District regular season title with a 10-0 victory over visiting Bell County on Tuesday. Five Harlan County pitchers combined to limit Bell County to just two hits, while 12 Black Bears collected a hit in the six-inning win.
“I don’t know if these guys really look at that right now,” said Harlan County coach John Lewis of the regular season district title. “They are just trying to get better, and it is noticeable that they are getting better.”
Harlan County opened the scoring with three runs in the first inning.
Tyler Boggs led off the game with a double to left field. Blake Rutherford followed with a single to drive in the first run. Scotty Bailey reached base after being hit by a pitch. Anthony Jenkins then made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. James Bond brought home the final run of the inning with a single.
The Black Bears made it 5-0 with a pair of runs in the second inning. Rutherford reached base with a two-out double. Bailey then delivered a blast over the fence in left field for a home run.
Harlan County pushed the lead to 7-0 with two more runs in the fourth inning.
Rutherford again reached base first — this time with a single. He scored on a Nick Jarvis double to right field. Jarvis scored when Zach Doss singled.
Sawyer Fields scored in the fifth inning as the lead grew to eight runs. Fields reached base on a single. He stole second base, advanced to third on a balk and scored on a passed ball.
The Black Bears closed out the contest with two runs in the sixth inning.
Brendan Rutherford started the inning with a single. Nick Cornett followed with a double to right field. Leisge drove in the first run of the inning with a single. Fields then drove in the winning run with a single to right field.
Bailey’s home run led Harlan County at the plate. Blake Rutherford delivered a double and a single. Fields recorded two singles. Boggs, Jarvis and Cornett each contributed a double. Jenkins, Bond, Doss, Conner Leisge, Gage Burkhart and Brendan Rutherford each added a single. The Black Bears pounded out 14 hits on the night without recording a strikeout at the plate.
Caleb Smith and Zach Turner each had a single to lead the Bell County offense.
Tyler Cornett struck out three batters in two innings in the start. Leisge recorded one strikeout in one inning to claim the win on the mound. Bond and Burkhart each struck out one batter in one inning of work.
“Our pitching is really what has held us together this year,” Lewis said. “I am happy with them. Everybody threw well tonight and really hit their spots. They kept them off balance and done what they are supposed to do.”
Starter Austin North went two innings on the mound in the loss. Scotty Fields turned in 2 2/3 innings of relief work, while Ethan Mason went 2 1/3 innings on the mound.
Harlan County (18-7 overall, 5-1 district) returns to action Saturday at North Laurel. Bell County (10-10 overall, 2-4 district) will host Cumberland Gap, Tenn., on Friday.
— — —
Bell County…000 000 — 0 2 2
Harlan Co…..320 212 — 10 14 0
North, Fields (3), Mason (5) and Jenkins; T. Cornett, Leisge (3), Jenkins (4), Bond (5), Burkhart (6) and Bailey. W- Leisge. L-North.